After Speck died in December, everyone’s solution to my sorrow was to get a new kitten, and fast. But I wasn’t ready. Every time Chooch would bring it up, I would lose it and he would mumble, “Aaaaaand, now she’s crying again.” And to be honest, Don really stepped up and absorbed a lot of my grief.
But now with Don gone, too, there is an even bigger void. My two remaining cats are not cuddlers: One hates people and the other—Marcy the Alpha—only has eyes for Henry’s lap. I NEED SOMETHING TO CUDDLE. The Jonny Craig doll works to a point, but I need that furry companion who will be excited to sit with me and watch trashy MTV reality programming. Sure, Henry is furry, but he does not enjoy watching these things.
So I finally decided I was ready. I couldn’t bear to look for a new kitten on my own, so I gave Henry permission to start the hunt. A lot of the shelters we’ve encountered require a copy of our lease and consent from the landlord, which will never happen. (It’s in our lease that pets aren’t allowed, but the landlord I had back when I moved in knew and didn’t care; now he’s dead and we have a new landlord.)
So Henry has been scouring Craigslist. Immediately, he showed me a picture of a bunch of mini-Dons and I started sobbing. What a jerk.
The day we were at Delgrosso’s, he read to me an ad for two male Maine Coone kittens. I had already decided with certainty that this new kitten must be a boy, so I told him to answer the ad. Before we left the park that day, the seller had texted him photos of the kittens and I gave him the greenlight. Henry arranged to go out to their house that Tuesday night while I was at work, so I wouldn’t have to choose on my own. When he texted the person that day to get their address, she was all, “Oops, we already gave them away.” I wasn’t as crushed as I thought I would be, which tells me it wasn’t the right kitten anyway. I told him to stop looking. Don hadn’t even been buried yet at this point and it just didn’t feel right to me.
However, after Don was buried, Henry showed me a picture of this adorable black kitten. I deemed it The Kitten and loaded all of the pressure upon Henry’s shoulders. I WANTED THIS KITTEN. Apparently, he had already inquired (behind my back!!) about this same kitten a few days earlier, but was too late. I guess the buyer backed out, and this lady was once again trying to find a home for the kitten. They had a brief email exchange, and by the time he picked me up from work that night, he said, “Well, that kitten is ours. We can go get him tomorrow.”
Chooch and I cheered!
And then she emailed Henry back to say, “Oh never mind. I gave him to someone else.”
Henry—cool, calm, mild-mannered Henry—totally flipped his fucking lid. I have rarely seem him so fired up, not even when one of our co-workers at our old job called me a cunt. NOT EVEN THEN.
“Good home for the kitten, my ass!” he raged. “All she cares about is who can put the money in her hand the quickest!” Then he sat down at the computer and announced that he was emailing her and it wasn’t going to be nice.
I pointed out that he was acting like one Erin R.Kelly. “Don’t be like that. You’re the good one, remember?” I reminded him gently. (No seriously, I put away the cat o’nine tails for this one; poor guy was furious.) Yes, I was disappointed that the kitten slipped through our fingers, but I really do believe that it will happen when it’s right. Clearly, none of these kittens have been the right ones.
Later that night, it was around 1:00AM and Henry was laying in bed with his back toward me. I knew he was still awake because I could see the glow of his phone, and then I heard the faintest tap-tap-tap’ings.
“Who are you texting?” I asked him, figuring it was his little work-husband Dave.
“I’m not texting anyone. I’m emailing that lady because I’m not going to be able to sleep if I don’t.” He definitely had the tone of a man on the edge, but it was late and I didn’t care anymore, so I left him alone lest he finally get the courage to bitch slap me.
So basically, you guys can call me a cunt and he won’t care, but renege on a motherfucking kitten and say hello to the Incredible Hank.
The object of Henry’s hate-missles emailed him back the next day and asked him to never contact her again. He was laughing without mirth and his voice cracked slightly when he read her email to me.
“If I had sent the original one, she probably would have called the cops!” he laughed psychotically.
Meanwhile, he was beginning to uncover the seedy underbelly of kitten trafficking when his inquiries were met with broken English replies explaining that the sellers were currently in Uganda doing work for God but if we would kindly send them to money, they would promptly deliver the kitten upon their return. He was so deep in it that I considered making him a special hat with kitty ears to wear while writing his kitten scam exposé.
Last Sunday, he answered another ad, and made arrangements to come see the kitten the next day. Twenty minutes later, he got a text saying, “So sorry, but a family who was interested earlier is now interested again.” I moved away from him in case he started windmilling his limbs in a conniption. Turns out that seller should have stuck with us, because their interested family arrived in a van with a busted out window and tried to pay with a Wal-Mart gift card; they came crawling back to Henry who (politely, thank god) told them that they we were starting to think that this is the universe’s way of telling us we’re just not ready.
Tuesday night while he was waiting for me to be done with work, he texted me: That stupid fucking lady who told me never to contact her again reposted that kitten. By the time I got in the car, he practically had undulating pound signs, asterix, and exclamation marks above his head and started barking about how he wanted to reply to her posting.
(He had to get a physical for work the other day and it’s actually surprising his blood pressure wasn’t off the charts because of this, although he did say that he knew it had gone down because he hasn’t been able to hear his heart pounding in his ears lately.)
I’d like to eventually try our luck at some shelters again, but I’m in no rush. When I got Marcy and Speck, it just happened without me looking, and I know it will probably have to be that way this time, too. In the meantime, Henry is still nose-to-phone, glasses pushed up, scouring Craigslist. I feel like most guys go on Craigslist looking for car parts and BJs; my man goes on Craigslist for kittens. It’s kind of precious.